You Don’t Need Agile … If…

At Agile 2011 I was offering some advice in Coach’s Corner and a fellow (let’s call him Jack) who had attended my talk wanted to get more help with his problems with work flowing through a support team. He considered himself a beginner and admitted he didn’t know much about ‘Agile’ and the more he described his problems and what they were changing the more I realized that he really got it.

Jack described their ‘work board and stickies’ how they used that to manage their work, how they added daily meetings and how they improved by getting the team and product owner in the same room.

From our conversation I could tell, and he verified, that he didn’t know anything about Kanban and heard that Kanban was more of an advanced practice. While it was a brief conversation, I echoed back that I felt he was on the right track. He was getting the benefits of a continuous improvement mentally without using the A-word.

How refreshing, I remember about 10 years ago working in a company where we were doing the same thing. I had never heard about Agile at the time. Through experimentation we found out what worked for us.

If your organization wants to get started with Agile and Jack’s story sounds familiar to you, you may be on the right track already. You may be better served to get specifically educated on what Agile practice your current process resembles. You can do that by going to local events and talking to people in the community.

The worst thing you can probably do is to consider transforming to Agile because it’ll probably set you back further and erase the great progress you’ve already made.